Lifelong learning empowers Myongji University students towards MJU 2025, Industry 4.0
South Korea’s prestigious private Christian institution takes its aspirations globally and seeks partner industries and corporations
The world is on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution – an era of technology-driven, data-intensive economies that complexly integrate physical, biological and digital systems. This paints a stimulating, yet challenging, future: automation, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, the internet of things and other technologies are opening doors that never existed before. But they are also closing some as they gradually take over jobs that are forecast to become completely obsolete in the next 20 years.
At the centre of all these changes is education.
“It is important to redefine the roles of education – and universities in particular – in such a change of environment,” says You Byong-jin, president of Myongji University. “First, we should strive to advance educational methods and media, and develop diverse teaching and learning techniques such as expanding online courses. Second, we need to help students connect these knowledge channels, creatively develop acquired knowledge into new talent and skills, and embrace lifelong learning.”
You, who has been at the helm of Myongji for the past 10 years, believes that many people are in need of more tailored training amid the economic downturn combined with the increasingly short lifespan of knowledge learned – as the concept of lifelong work is quickly disappearing. “In this regard, universities will have to reinforce their social responsibilities, not only as institutions for school-age students, but also for lifelong learners,” You says.
Renowned as a world-class, cutting-edge and eco-friendly university, Myongji is a prestigious private Christian institution that takes pride in cultivating faith as a strong foundation since opening in 1948. Today, it is taking its aspirations globally with MJU 2025 – the university’s new medium-term development plan.
Launched last year, the plan includes three major development goals: fostering creative talents that will lead the future; strengthening research and industry-university cooperation that contributes to society; and establishing a brand name for love and creation.
It is in this mindset that the university opened the Myongji Asian Leadership Program, which aims at shaping Asian leaders. Striving to cultivate regional experts in social, political, economic and cultural fields that encompass the entire Asian region, the university has also launched English and Putonghua language-based classes. Myongji actively participates in overseas educational expositions or study fairs at universities, and works with various organisations and visiting professors to engage in various collaborative research and development initiatives.
As one of the most advanced universities in power generation technologies, Myongji is also interested in international collaboration with equally driven partners, including industries and corporations similarly looking for the next breakthroughs in fields such as electrical engineering and information and communication technology.
Among the major themes under MJU 2025, Myongji’s internationalisation initiative aims to attract and enrich talented people from around the world with global competence and leadership. To achieve this, the university has set core strategies for globalisation to improve accessibility to international markets and create a positive environment to attract more foreign students.
Under Myongji’s student-exchange programme, for example, South Korean students are sent to overseas sister universities to help improve their foreign language skills and gain more effective cultural experiences for optimal employment prospects. Meanwhile, students from other countries, such as Vietnam and other emerging markets in Asia, undergo internship programmes run by local businesses to help them gain practical work experience.
“We look forward to meeting more like-minded, equally dedicated partners who seek to share the global stage with Myongji,” You says. “We have established a road map for each year, step by step. The journey will be challenging, but we are committed to see our vision through – backed by our faith in God and belief in our students, staff and community.”